There are plenty of reasons to think about the environment at all times of year.
On the ugly side of the ledger, we continue to fill our oceans with plastic and garbage, we’ve lost the last of the white rhinos, and the planet keeps getting hotter with our weather more unpredictable.
On the plus side, we’ve got staggering improvements in solar and wind technology, we’re recycling vastly more things than a generation ago, and at last almost everyone agrees that protecting the environment is an important value.
With Earth Day coming up soon, and community clean ups, the Upcycle Design Challenge, and Arbour Day tree plantings around the community, its important to remember the things we can do individually, locally, and working together.
The now decades-old mantra of reduce, reuse, and recycle needs to be re-examined on a regular basis. How can we cut down on waste packaging? What can we do in our personal spending and shopping choices to cut waste? How can we get government and industry to phase out packing foam and plastic bags?
We’re debating oil pipelines versus train tanker cars. But in the long run, we need to demand that our government come up with a plausible long-term plan for getting our economy off of oil and fossil fuels altogether. We can’t keep scraping northern Alberta’s woods and wetlands to the bedrock to drive our society and economy. Oil is not a long-term solution.
On the local level, we can take action together by planting trees – and ensuring that local government values the trees that are already here.